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Habs Notebook: Feb. 5, 2009

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
In today’s Habs Notebook, Canadiens players feel the need for speed, Komisarek recites the alphabet and Carbo gives a preview of the upcoming episode of Sergei vs. Mikhail: the sequel.

Put me in, coach!

With their engines revving and ready to peel off the line as soon as they’re given the green light, Georges Laraque and Mathieu Dandenault are set to make their return to the Canadiens’ lineup this weekend.  With 21 players already on hand, head coach Guy Carbonneau will have to do some trimming around the edges before the team’s upcoming tilt in Buffalo.

“Georges will be in the lineup, but Mathieu will probably have to wait a bit.  With back-to-back games coming up, though, I might need to put him into the lineup on Saturday. Mathieu hasn’t played a game in two and a half months and for a defenseman, coming back after missing that much time is hard to do. I’ll probably ease him into game situations as a forward even though he was doing so well on the blue line before he was injured.” 

A, B, C, D, E …

With the onslaught of injuries the Canadiens have had to deal with this season, head equipment manager Pierre Gervais – and his Singer sewing machine – have been working overtime, stitching letters onto different players’ jerseys over the last few months. With the Habs’ clinic now mostly cleared out, Mike Komisarek has officially been named one of the team’s assistant captains.  Here’s what the All-Star blue-liner had to say about his recent promotion.

“I don’t think having a letter makes a difference in terms of leadership.  Patrice Brisebois is a great leader and everyone respects him because of the experience he brings and what he’s accomplished – including winning a Stanley Cup – but he doesn’t have a letter.  Does that mean he isn’t a leader?  No.  Same thing for Higgins.  Everyone knows how passionate he is and how much he cares about the team.  That said, I’m incredibly honored by it, but it doesn’t change anything.  I was trying to be a good leader even without the 'A'."

Enemy at the Gates

After a scuffle during the Habs-Leafs game on January 8 at the Bell Centre, the battle between former buddies and fellow Belarussians Mikhail Grabovski and Sergei Kostitsyn reached fever pitch.  Just two days away from hosting their North-East Division rivals on Saturday, Guy Carbonneau wasn’t exactly kicking back with some popcorn waiting for the sequel, but… 

“I think it’s great.  It doesn’t bother me at all to see my players showing that kind of emotion, as long as it doesn’t fall into the ‘stupid’ category.  I don’t even know what happened between those two. I never saw any of that kind of animosity between them while Grabovski was playing here, but the ice is a great place to settle any differences.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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